The great thing about this category is that these are all great shows in their own way. A couple of other shows could have ended up here instead, which would have made for a lot of frustration in regards to who was robbed of a nomination, let alone a win. Lets look at the nominees:
Late Night With Conan O’Brien
It now seems hard to believe that Conan’s show got off to such a rock and unfunny start so many years ago, that it almost proved to be a short lived series. But the bosses at NBC decided to stick with him and to let him find his legs, and that he did. So many years later, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” remains one of the funniest shows in late night. It makes you wonder, has this guy lost any of his comic edge? Conan’s continued success in late night bodes very well for when he takes over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno.
Late Show with David Letterman
Jay Leno may continue to get the better ratings with “The Tonight Show,” but Dave Letterman still earns more respect. One has to wonder why Dave has not been doing better than Jay in the ratings race, since Dave was the one the Academy bothered to nominate. Even after a quadruple bypass and the almost-kidnapping of his child, he remains one of the funniest and driest of the late night show hosts on the air. He’ll be with us for some time I’m sure.
Real Time with Bill Maher
It is safe to say that HBO is a much better venue for Bill Maher’s politically incorrect views than is network television. As great as his original show was, “Politically Incorrect” was done in by sponsors who callously jumped ship when Maher made certain comments regarding the Iraq war. Here, he is not held back by that. But more importantly, on top of having a little more freedom to do his thing, He also proves to be a great moderator who populates his guest panel with a variety of people from different political spectrums, and this makes for some intensely interesting discussions. And who can forget Bill Maher’s New Rules? His rants put Dennis Miller’s to utter shame. It’s great to see Bill doing what he does best on HBO, and his show makes political discourse much more entertaining than what you usually see on “Meet The Press.”
The Colbert Report
This is just what we need, and I am not being sarcastic; a searing send up of the right wing pundits who pollute the airwaves with their highly conservative viewpoints. No one should ever mistake the brilliant Stephen Colbert as an actual right wing political pundit, but we cannot help but believe that while we watch this show. His interview with Tim Robbins always sticks with me:
“Tim, what was it like working with Clint Eastwood, and why do you hate our troops?”
I am serious when I say that this is show we need because those pundits like Bill O’Reilly and so many others can go so over the top that they end up parodying themselves. Stephen Colbert is great here, and will continue to be great for some time I’m sure.
The Daily Show
What can be said about “The Daily Show” that has already been said? It remains one of the funniest shows on TV, and it has not lost any of its comic edge. It is also one of the most relevant shows on television as it cuts to the bone of political and moral hypocrises that are endless in our society today. Jon has said that he doesn’t want the audience to come to this show to stay on top of politics, because he feels that is not always the case with himself. But by continuing to take hilarious aim at those who fall over themselves while on the political trail, there is still no better place to go.
Conan O’Brien and David Letterman will probably cancel each other out since they are the best people working in late night. “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” may end up canceling each other out as well since they are both worked on by the same people, and they both cover the same ground. So that leaves us with Bill Maher’s show as the most likely winner, as his show bravely covers politics of all kinds, and cuts down to the really nitty gritty of each of the issues it covers.